Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Found Ineffective as Post-Concussion Treatment

Researchers evaluating efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat concussions for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) concluded that servicemembers showed no marked improvement compared to a group who received a sham air chamber therapy. Researchers sought to determine whether or not oxygen was a mitigating factor in concussion recovery after anecdotal evidence suggested it might.

The trial consisted of 72 military servicemembers suffering from post-concussion symptoms such as headaches, sleep disturbance, and mild cognitive impairment. The trial participants split into three groups.

  • A control group receiving normal post-concussion care.
  • A group is receiving normal post-concussion care along with forty 60-minute HBO sessions.
  • A group receiving normal post-concussion care along with forty 60-minute sessions in a regular air chamber filled to a level to mask pressurization.

The two groups receiving the additional chamber sessions showed an improvement in symptoms over the group receiving normal post-concussion care. However, researchers found no difference between the two chamber groups, prompting researchers to determine that HBO held no significant benefits.

The conclusion was that there is a benefit to additional treatment beyond the standard post-concussion care, but that benefit does not come from oxygen. Officials are no longer pursuing the HBO treatment research, but may begin looking into the nonspecific improvements from the placebo effects seen in the trials.

Even mild concussions can cause symptoms that can impair a servicemember’s quality of life in the long-term. If left untreated, persistent headaches, dizziness, and cognitive disruptions can last into the future. Veterans who suffered head trauma and concussions during service may be eligible for veterans disability benefits. If you believe you are entitled to disability compensation from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group ® for assistance and support for your VA disability claim. Call today – 1-855-855-8992.